Interview with Audrey Bell-Kearney
Founder @ ABK Media Group

Audrey Helps Artists, Entrepreneurs & Authors Leverage Streaming Media With Their Own Branded Amazon Fire TV & Roku Channels. Check out ABK Media Group here.
Hi Audrey! Could you please introduce your work with ABK Media Group and tell us a bit more about what led to your founding the company back in 2018?
Hello, my name is Audrey Bell-Kearney. I am the CEO and founder of ABK Media Group. I launched ABK Media Group last December. I originally had a company called HerTube Media Network - and it's HerTube like YouTube, but HerTube. I that company six years ago, and I ran that company full time for six years. But towards the end of last year, I realized I wanted to do some rebranding, because HerTube Media Network was no longer serving me for what I wanted to do. I wanted to do more media stuff, so for HerTube, it's pretty much a internet television company and I wanted to do more podcasting and more internet TV, more marketing, more consulting, and so I decided to rebrand her HerTube Media Network into ABK Media Group. That's how I got the company ABK Media Group - those are the initials for my name, Audrey Bell-Kearney. And so now under ABK Media Group, I produce podcasts, I do consulting, I help people watch their own podcasts and I still have HerTube Media Network as a television network. I also create channels for people on Roku and Amazon Fire TV. I love media! I've been in media for 16 years, and I feel like it's a great platform for you to expose your business to people around the world. With technology being the way it is right now, there are a lot of opportunities for you to get out there on platforms like Amazon Fire TV, or Roku, Apple Television, Samsung Television. With the creations of smart TVs, now people are connected to the Internet in their homes right where they live. So that was my motivation for a ABK Media Group, it was a rebrand from HerTube Media Network, to expand the brand a little bit further to include podcasting and other media outlets, like publishing and digital media marketing.
What are some of the main benefits of having your own Roku or Amazon Fire TV channel?
So Roku and Amazon are pretty much streaming media platforms. Roku was the front runner in this space for quite some time, and then Amazon came along in 2014, so I think they may be neck and neck. But here's the benefit of having your content on a platform like Amazon Fire TV and Roku: you have access to millions and millions of people, in over 120 countries around the world. So for entrepreneurs who are looking for a bit more exposure for what they do - whether it be a podcast, whether it be a book, whether it be a speech, whether you're trying to be a speaker, you need a platform - this is a great opportunity for you to get your content on these different platforms. And the good thing about it, is it's really inexpensive to do and it gives you a huge platform to create an awareness for what you're doing. I have my podcast on Amazon Fire TV, I have my video channel there, and the great thing about all of these things is that they integrate with content platforms you're already using, like Vimeo. Like Vimeo, my HerTube channel is located on Vimeo and it streams, it pulls that content onto Roku from Vimeo. On Amazon Fire TV, my content is pulled from YouTube, so it's really easy for entrepreneurs now to take advantage of these platforms. Heres the thing: people are cutting cords. They don't want to be paying higher cable bill anymore, so they are buying Amazon Fire sticks, they're buying Roku sticks. But what does this mean for you and I as entrepreneurs? This means that we can now be seen in living rooms around the world because of these platforms. Whether you have a TV channel or a podcast channel, those channels can be seen in liberals around the world in over 120 countries. Now just put that in perspective for you: Roku has about 35 million subscribers that watch, probably daily, and Amazon has about 32 million subscribers that watch Amazon Fire sticks. So this is a great way for you to get your content out there as an entrepreneur.
How is the world of personal branding and outreach changing today?
I think outreach in branding is changing a lot more today, because people want to know who you are. And with the platforms like YouTube and Facebook and podcasts, it gives people opportunity to look into your life - like the real you - because you're out there, you're creating content about you and your personal life, and this is helping you build a personal brand. I think for me, because I'm on podcasting and I'm out there with the microphone, people see me. I'm on location, I got the microphone - that becomes my personal brand, that's my community outreach, that's how I'm reaching out to people. And so now people are knowing me by Good Morning Gwinnett. They know it's my podcast, they know it's Audrey, she does this and they're telling other people, "Oh, contact Audrey, she does a podcast called Good Morning Gwinnett." All a part of this personal brand that I'm building. I think when you put yourself out there a little bit more on the forefront of what you're doing, it gives people the opportunity to connect with you more, the real you, they find out you know what you're doing your personal life. They look at your personal brand. You know I know a lot of times you use social media, we talk about family brands and things like that, but the fact that you stream live right in your office - like I I did a livestream recently right from my office, and people got to got to see my bookshelf. Like I got a ton of books, and that's only part of it, but now they can see - OK, she reads. Oh, she likes elephants, that's my elephant behind me. I love elephants, I love butterflies. It gives you the opportunity to let people get to like and know who you are, because there's an old saying - it may sound cliche, but people do business with people they like and know - and that's the truth. And so being able to get on video and get on a podcast, give people the opportunity to to learn who you are, to learn more about your personal brand, look into your life. I did a video with my granddaughter recently, and people love that video! But I had to get in there and say something to my group that's on Facebook, and I have my granddaughter at the time and I said, "Listen, we're gonna go live!" So outreaching and telling people your story, sharing a story is a great way for you to, that's how things are changing.
How has ABK Media Group's clientele changed since you first founded the company?
ABK has changed a lot over the last, probably six to eight months, because right now I do way more consulting than I did before. When I first launched ABK I was doing more Fire TV channels, like I was creating channels for people on those, on that platform. I've created some channels on Roku for people, but I've create a lot of channels on Fire TV. And over the last, probably, I would say probably four months, I've been doing a lot more consulting with people, trying to understand how to use these platforms and why these platforms are beneficial. Not only that, but how to create content. Like, most people are afraid to get in front of the camera! They don't want to be on video, so they want to know how can I be able to utilize these platforms, and not have to be on camera myself. So that's where the change is taking place. I'm doing more consulting, which I'm happy about because I get to point people in the right direction; I get to have the conversation with them, to show them why these platforms may be beneficial to them, or why they may not. And also to show them like, these are the things you can do to create the content you need to move your company forward. And for me that's that's really important. It's really important to help them find that clarity. I know what it means to be stuck, trust me, I tell you - I know what it means to not know exactly which direction to go with. So the fact that I am a go-to person when it comes to podcasting and internet television marketing, to point people in the right direction and say, "Hey, these are things you need to do." I was working with a client who has a farm, and I think what she's doing is amazing, but she has to figure out what to do and how to get that content out there. We had a long conversation - quite, quite a few conversations- about what you need to do to put your your farm in the spotlight and how to make money from that. So I'm doing a lot more consulting and I'm happy about that, and I see me going further into more consulting as I move forward with the company.
What's next for your work with ABK Media Group, and what will be your main focus throughout the next year?
I'm constantly working on ABK and tweaking and making adjustments to the company, so for me, I'm moving the company forward. We have three divisions in the company right now: we have the ITV division, where we have ITV channels - internet television channels - the podcasting network, and the publishing division. So right now, I'm working on a new book called Pod Chicks, and this is about 14 women who have started a podcast, and it also gives me instruction in the back of the book for anybody who's looking to start your own podcast. So that book will be out in September. I'm also working on building a podcast network, because I really love podcasting. I have a television network already called Her Tube, and now I'm working on building a podcast network for podcasters. I love podcasting, and so one of my goals is to grow my show, Good Morning Gwinnett, into a really successful show, a community show, because it is a community podcast. And I want to help more people who want to start community podcast - I think it's really important to shine a spotlight on people who are doing good work in our communities, whether it be community leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, those people, give them some spotlight, give them a little shine. So I'm focusing on building up Good Morning Gwinnett even more. We have apps right now - we have the mobile apps, we have the Alexa Skills, we're going to be doing a Google Home Skill coming up soon, a Roku channel for that, and just a lot more. So the publishing division publishes magazines - P-State Woman magazine - along with books, and then we've got internet TV division and a podcasting division. So I'll be busy for the rest of this year, probably for the next 10 years I'll be busy! But really really putting a lot of focus on the Good Morning Gwinnett Show. That's really important to me. I've been doing a lot of good things, doing some on-location stuff, and so shining the spotlight on events andn our community leaders here in Gwinnett.